Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

It's your first year of high school and you just want to be like everyone else.  You know, be normal.  But that's hard to do with goat poop on your shoe...

Atheneum, a division of Simon & Schuster, allowed me to download a e-galley for review (thank you).  This book will be published at the end of March, 2011.  It's a young adult novel.

I struggled to make the transition from St. Joseph's parochial school to a public high school, and it was hard for me.  So I can understand Janie's fear of being "different" and how hard it can be to be accepted by the other students who already know each other and have friends.  And poor Janie has another problem besides going to a new school and not having any previous classmates in any of her classes but one; she has farm chores before she comes to school...

As with any teen, she's growing and experiencing different emotions.  She's not sure if she's weird or if the others are.  And she doesn't want to lose the one good friend she already has. 

Ms. Dowell does a very good of making her characters' emotions honest.  The challenges they face are normal life challenges and how they handle them depends on their personalities.  She also introduces the reader (and her characters) to the older generation in town and you learn a bit about the Freedom School they started.

Janie even meets a guy she likes.  His name is Monster.  No, really, it is!

Young adults should really enjoy reading this book and watching Janie trying to be normal.  There is plenty to hold their interest and it's an enjoyable read.

Add it to your "TBR" list and check for it at the end of March.  Ms. Dowell has other books out in the market now if you'd like to grab one and taste her writing style while waiting.  Just visit your local bookstore.

Happy reading!

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